July 25, 2021

Morocco and France want to “facilitate” the return of unaccompanied minors

Morocco and France reiterated their desire to “Facilitate” the return of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in successive declarations on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 June, after the recent migratory influx into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, against the backdrop of the crisis between Rabat and Madrid.

A Moroccan diplomatic note sent to the press Thursday in Rabat welcomes the “Model cooperation” with France, with a dialogue “Based on mutual respect”. “Unfortunately, this approach is not that of certain countries which continue to adopt an approach of guilt and descent”, says the text, with clear reference to Spain, in a tense diplomatic context.

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For its part, the Quai d’Orsay underlined on Wednesday the “Common will” from Morocco and France from “Deal with this difficult question as well as possible” Moroccan minor migrants in a “Spirit of trust and partnership”. “We continue to closely monitor the situation in Ceuta and the tensions of the last few days, which we hope will be quickly appeased”, said the French foreign ministry in a press note.

The arrival in mid-May of nearly 10,000 migrants in Ceuta, many of them minors, thanks to a deliberate relaxation of border controls on the Moroccan side, marked the culmination of a major crisis between Rabat and Madrid. , caused by the hospitalization in Spain of the leader of the Saharawi separatists of the Polisario Front, considered by Morocco as a “War criminal”.

A gesture of appeasement

After a series of heated exchanges, the announcement on Tuesday of the will of the King of Morocco to “Settle definitively” the issue of minors in an irregular situation in Europe was perceived as a gesture of appeasement hailed in Brussels and then in Paris.

The leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, left in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Algeria after being heard by the Spanish justice in the context of two complaints for « tortures » and “Genocide”.

Read also Migrant crisis in Ceuta: it’s time to get out of a certain naivety in the gaze focused on Morocco

Madrid have since pleaded to resume “Respectful, absolutely constructive relationships” with Morocco, its traditional ally. For its part, Rabat had hitherto remained silent.

Several analysts link the crisis to Rabat’s desire to get Spain and the European Union to change their position on Western Sahara in a direction that is more favorable to it, after the United States’ decision, in the last days of the mandate of Donald Trump, to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the whole of this territory disputed by the Polisario Front.

The World with AFP